Reproductive Health

WEEK : 3



TOPIC:  Reproductive Health

CONTENT:   (i)         Definition of Reproductive health.

(ii)        Identification of male and female organs.

(iii)       The relationship between nutrition and reproductive health.


Sub-topic 1: Definition of Reproductive health and Identification of male and female organs.

Definition of Reproductive health

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Reproductive health can be defined as the ability of people to have a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life in which they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to  decide if, when and how often to do so. Reproductive health include the right of access to appropriate health care services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and also provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy baby.



Identification of male and female organs.

Reproduction occurs in human beings when there is a union of two sex cells – the eggs derived from the female parent and the sperm from the male parent. The fusion takes place in the upper part of the fallopian tube.

The male reproductive system

  1. Testes: the testes produce sperm and the male sex hormones called testosterone which aids the development of secondary sexual characters.
  2. Somniferous tubules or spermatic ducts: these are located within the testes. It is where sperms are produced in the testes.
  3. Epididymis: this is a narrow tube which leads from the epididymis into the seminar vesicle. It carries sperm from the epididymis to the seminar vesicle.
  4. Seminar vesicle: This is small sack positioned close to the posterior end of the vas deferens where the sperm are stored until ejaculation take place.
  5. Prostate gland: this is connected to urethra through many tubules. It also secrets seminal fluids which activates the sperm.
  6. Cowper’s gland: this is positioned very close to prostate gland.
  7. Urethra: it is narrow tube which prolong into this penis. It is urinogenital in function i.e. it can perform the function of excretion and that of reproduction. It also aids the passage of sperm into the vagina.
  8. Penis: it acts as a copulation organ. It contains spongy tissues which are filled up with blood to allow erection to take place.


The female reproductive organs

  1. Ovaries: these are the female’s gonalds that produce the ova (eggs) and are located inside the pelvic cavity in an area between the belly button and pubic bone. They produce eggs (one egg per month alternatively) which are developed in the outermost layer of the ovary called germinal epithelium. The ovaries produce hormone known as estrogen. They are also responsible for the development of secondary sexual character in girls.
  2. Oviduct or fallopian tube: this is a long narrow tube with a funnel-shaped opening which receives eggs released by the ovary. It links the ovary with the uterus. Fertilization takes place in the oviduct. The egg or ovum passes through this tube from the ovary to the uterus.
  3. Uterus or womb: this is the organ in whose cavity the zygote develops into a baby. Once the egg is fertilized, it is implanted in the wall of the uterus, the point at which the embryo attached to the uterus develops into a placenta.
  4. Vagina: this is a muscular tube that leads from the uterus to the outside of the body. It is the birth canal. It receives sperm from the penis during intercourse and the fetus also passes out from it during birth.
  5. Cervix: it is ring of muscles with tiny aperture which closes the lower end of the uterus at the point where it joins the vagina. It helps to control the opening and closing of the vagina during birth.
  6. Vulva: this is the collective name for the external parts of the female reproductive organ. It allows the fetus to pass during birth and also permits the passage of urine out of the body.
  7. Clitoris: this is a small sensitive organ which corresponds to the penis in male. It is erectile and becomes stiff on account of blood flow into it when stimulated. It helps to stimulate the female during sexual intercourse.



Sub-topic 2:


Both systems are made of two gametes producing gonads. Gametes are productive cells with half the number of chromosomes. (i) The gonads (testicles in men and ovaries in females) produce sperm in male and ovules in females. (ii) They also secret sexual hormones which are essential for both physical development and for success of the reproductive system.


  1. The reproductive system of a woman is located inside the abdomen, on the other hand, the male reproductive system is almost all exposed with the testicle located inside the scrotal sac.
  2. In male prostate gland is present while in female it is not present
  3. Cowper’s gland is present in male but absent in female organ.

In male organ there is no oviduct, in female there is oviduct unfertilized.



Sub –Topic 3: The relationship between nutrition and reproductive health

Reproductive health is directly linked to reproduction. The consequence of poor nutritional status and inadequate nutritional intake of women during pregnancy not only directly affects women health status but may also have negative impact on the birth weight and early development of the infant.

In developing countries or nations of the world, poor nutrition and ignorance of healthy lifestyle has contributed or affected reproductive health negatively.

Good nutrition during pregnancy makes a woman strong and healthy

It makes her baby strong in the womb.

Strengthen the baby’s teeth and bones.

Prevents heavy bleeding during childbirth.

Help a woman to regain her strength quick after delivery.

Help her reproduce plenty milk for breast feeding.


  1. Which of these can be found in the male reproductive system? (a) epididymis (b) oviduct (c) cervix (d)vulva
  2. ______ is a ring of muscle with tiny aperture which closes at the lower end of the uterus. (a) cervix (b) ovum (c) testis (d) vulva
  3. What is the difference between reproductive health and nutrition?
  • Reproductive health is directly related to reproduction
  • Reproductive health is directly related to nutrition
  • Reproductive health is indirectly related to reproduction
  • Reproductive health is indirectly related to nutrition
  1. Which of these glands helps to increase the pit of the acidic female reproductive medium for improving the surviving rate of the sperm?
  • Cowper’s gland (b) prostate gland (c) epididymis (d) Vas deferens


  1. Enumerate five major things that good nutrition will enhance during pregnancy.
  2. State four differences between male and female reproductive systems
  3. Mention five structures of the female reproductive organ.


Read food and nutrition for secondary schools, chapter 7, page 67-74

Students should look for and bring suitable diagrams showing male and female reproductive system.



Food and Nutrition for Senior Secondary Schools Book 1 by F. A. Bakare, N. M. Eze, H. B. Bala

Exam focus, food and nutrition for Senior Secondary Schools, WASSCE and SSCE



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